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Film in the park to continue?

Observer senior reporter

Sunday, February 17, 2019

If entertainment and Culture Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange has her way, the screening of films inside Emancipation Park in St Andrew could become a regular feature.

Currently as part of the observance of Reggae Month, there is a weekly event, Reggae Films in the Park, which is held on a Friday and showcases films with reggae and Jamaican music as their focus.

Speaking at last Friday's screening, Grange noted that culturally speaking, Jamaicans have a lot to be proud of having given the world six genres of music — mento, ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub, and dancehall, as well as a religion in Rastafari and a global musical icon in Bob Marley.

“This is such a wonderful learning experience where we can all sit here and learn about our music. I want you to continue to enjoy this event long after Reggae Month, so I am going to speak to the management of Emancipation Park and see what we can do to continue this experience,” the minister stated.

Last Friday's main attraction was the Brad Klein-directed documentary Legends of Ska. The nearly two-hour-long feature offered a history of the genre which rose to prominence in the late 1950s and lasted till the mid-60s, through the experiences and recollections of some of its major proponents as well as local music historians. The feature, which was released in 2015, was set against the backdrop of footage of songs performed and recorded from the Legends of Ska concerts held in Toronto, Canada during the summer of 2002. Among the artistes featured are Prince Buster, Patsy Todd, Derrick Morgan, Stranger Cole, King Stitt, Alton Ellis, Justin Hinds, Doreen Shaffer, Lord Creator, Derrick Harriott, and the All-Star Skatalites Orchestra.

Also on Friday's bill was the feature Gussie Clarke: From the Foundation which looked at the life of the noted Jamaican producer and was produced by VP Records.